Best On Breeding
Mark Smith - Thursday October 31

Salivating over scores of promotional videos of yearlings can be a trap for young players although with the passage of time you can, more often than not, admit that you dodged a bullet there - yet this one was a bit different.

Cranbourne-based trainer Robbie Griffiths is in the James Bester class for the gift of the gab, so it was easy to be swept up in his enthusiasm for Attunga Stud’s grey Not A Single Doubt filly out of the Encosta de Lago mare Fidele at the 2017 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale.

She was gorgeous but came at a price, which did not take long to look like sales ring bargain.

 Griffiths Racing, Peter Ford Thoroughbreds and McKeever Bloodstock shelled out $170,000 for the filly, which was the second highest price of the sale.

Named Fidelia, she won on debut at Cranbourne back in July 2018 and strung four together at Sandown and Flemington (x3) in April-May this year.

I don’t think she has run a bad race in her 13-start career, but the 4yo mare has, despite her undoubted ability, failed to register a stakes win.

After flashing home for third, as favourite, in the Group II Let's Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 14, Fidelia went out favourite again in the Blazer Stakes over the same course and distance on October 5, running the best final splits but still finishing in sixth almost four lengths behind the winner Haut Brion Her.

Punters gave Fidelia another chance in the Group III Ladies Day Vase at Caulfield at her most recent start, but the barbs came out when she was beaten into third place by Spanish Reef.

Now, I say to her 20 plus owners, I felt an owner’s sense of hurt at some of the vitriol following that run.  

So, despite being badly off at the weights and drawn the outside barrier, I will retain the faith and splurge out once again at the extended odds in Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 TAB Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

This is a  fascinating renewal of the race, which features New Zealand’s 9-time Group 1 winning superstar Melody Belle (Commands) muti-millionairess Invincibella (I Am Invincible), Victoria Oaks winner Aristia (Lonhro), Godolphin’s last start Group II Tristarc Stakes winner Savatiano (Street Cry) and many, many more including another old favourite in Baccarat Baby (Casino Prince).

Not A Single Doubt getting excited for his third Group 1 winner of the season - image Mark Smith

Fidelia is one of six winners from as many to race out of Hawkes Racing’s Warwick Farm winning Encosta de Lago mare Fidele who is a great-granddaughter of Robert Sangster’s 1982 Group 1 STC George Ryder Stakes winner Pure Of Heart (IRE).

The racing career of Pure Of Heart (IRE) was nearly over before it began.

Because of her bad manners at the barrier she was sent to stud at three but was kept in training. At the time it was reported she was covered by the Round Table stallion Brahms (IRE) although the Stud Book has her visiting Habituiate (IRE). Either way it does not really matter because she failed to get in foal.

Following a win in a maiden at Balaclava and second in Adelaide, the Colin Hayes-trained filly was sent to Melbourne where she impressed with a fast-finishing win over 1000 metres on Boxing Day at Caulfield when ridden by Brent Thomson.   

She earned her first stakes win in the Group III Autumn Stakes at Caulfield after which, at just her fifth race start she was thrown in the deep end in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.

The daughter of Godswalk (IRE) covered herself in glory when third behind Razor Sharp and Penny Edition and earning a trip to Sydney.

She just failed to overcome a wide barrier when second to Sheraco in the Group II Rosemount Wines Classic but seven days later earned a career highlight win over Opera Prince and Razor Sharp in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill.

Pure Of Heart (IRE) rounded out her first preparation with a sixth in Grey Receiver’s Group II The Galaxy.

The following season. Pure Of Heart had just one win six starts although she did finish second to Magari in the Group 1 Marlboro Cup. Her career came to a close when she pulled up lame after the Group 1 Futurity Stakes won by Manikato.

Pure Of Heart (IRE) had nine named foals with the best being Ken (Tubby) Turner’s stakes-placed flying machine Lion Hunter who was one of 47 live foals (yep you heard right 47) from the second crop of Danehill (USA).

Second in the 1991 Group 1 ATC Galaxy, Lion Hunter went on to a highly successful stallion career.

Pure Of Heart (USA) had just two fillies and the line has been kept alive by the unraced Sir Tristram (IRE) mare Convent whose best was the Group III winner Simply Believe.

A daughter of Kenmare (FR) Simply Believe produced the Group II AJC Emancipation Stakes winner Faith Hill (Danehill) who is the dam of Lonhro’s dual Listed stakes-winner Black Minx who in turn is the dam of the crowd favourite, Group III winner and Group 1 placed So Si Bon (So You Think) who lines up in Saturday’s $2,000,000 Group 1  Kennedy Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

Simply Believe’s talented stakes-placed sister Truly Believe has not made the same mark at stud as her sister with her three winners led by Fidalia’s dam Fidele who was purchased by Kooringal Stud for $40,000 at the 2017 Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale.

She had a filly by Smart Missile sell for $30,000 to Peter Dalziel Professional Horsebreaking at the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, which has been named Standoff and is in the Grant & Peter Dalziel stable at Cranbourne.

Fidele has a yearling colt by Bobby's Kitten (USA) and was covered last year by The Brothers War (USA).


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